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I am so excited that the holiday season is nearly upon us! The holiday season is all about cozy layers, texture, a touch of sparkle and being surrounded by those closest to you! Here are six tips to ensure that your home is ready for the cooler months and holiday entertaining!

Fall layering

Think apple pie, pumpkin pie, the scent of a wood fireplace burning while out on a walk and the feeling of wool socks on your feet. There's a little bit of nostalgia that comes with these aromatic scents and cozy textures. Simmering a pot of homemade potpourri using cinnamon sticks, cloves, a dash of nutmeg and orange slices will fill your entire home with the most delicious scent! Next, you'll want to introduce cozy textiles, such as velvet pillows and warm throws. Place throw pillows anywhere they're easily accessible and visible.

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Create an inviting, help-yourself environment by making items readily available, that way guests can easily help themselves throughout the evening. This includes finger foods and beverages which can be placed on tiered trays, in bowls or on platters on the coffee table or side table. You can even create a signature beverage and have it in pitchers so that guests can easily refill their glasses on their own. A hot chocolate station is always a hit!

The Cape

Opt for a family-style dinner. I love the conversations that happen around a family-style dinner; everyone is immediately relaxed and at ease! Guests seem to linger at the table a while longer, as they are just so comfortable. The wonderful thing about the holiday season is that when it comes to your menu, you don't have to veer too far off from traditional dishes. These dinners only happen once or twice a year, making them extra special!

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Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. You can do this by setting the table a day or two before, adding the final touches the day of your party. Consider creating seating arrangements. I love the idea of assigned seating for a number of reasons. I find that it helps to encourage conversations and allows your guests to get to know one another if they haven't met before!

The Quilted Jacket

An easy way to decorate the table and other rooms in your home is by using items that are in season. Choose a seasonal color palette and select decorative pieces with that palette in mind for a cohesive feel. When it comes to decorating your dinner table, place flowers in small vases.

The Quilted Jacket

This allows you to distribute them the length of the table. You can also use seasonal fruit! Bring the outdoors in by placing branches with beautiful fall colored leaves in a vase and use natural items such as pinecones, pumpkins, birch branches and acorns as part of your decor!

The Quilted Jacket

Last but not least, of course you'll want to dress the part! I will forever love classic pieces and when hosting or attending parties, I typically opt for outfits that include layers, as I never want to be too hot or too cold. As the host, you'll be on the move - so you'll want to be comfortable!

Keep this in mind when selecting your outfit for the evening. Pairing a dressier top with a blazer and jeans is a look that I will always adore. I find it to be a great balance between casual and dressy. You can dress this look up by wearing a pair of black jeans instead!

Want to see more of Julie's love for décor, fashion and entertaining? Head over to her blog, Elliven Studio.